Friday, July 31, 2009

The Other Patient

Gil was not the only "patient" this past week.

Evan had elective knee surgery a week ago Friday and he is on his seventh post-op day. He had an autologous cartilage transplant which repaired a 2x3 cm divot-type defect on his knee's chondyle surface.

I had planned to go to LA and take care of him but Gil's illness required me to be here. Marika took up the cause and has been there with Evan for the entire pre-op, operative and post-operative period. The contraption you see in the photo is a passive range of motion apparatus which is helping him get to a 90 degree flexion of his knee. Along with regular icing, anti-inflammatories and pain medication, he is slowly recovering.

Med school classes start this coming Monday but he is probably not going to be able to go to them due to the pain management issues and the fact that the leg cannot be in a dependent position for that long. He will have to take advantage of the class lectures that are posted on the internet. It's less than ideal.

The cartilage cells that were used to transplant were taken from his own cartilage many months ago during an arthroscopy and were grown in a lab culture these past four weeks. It's been a long process and he will be non-weight bearing on crutches for 6-8 weeks. Not an easy task for a second year medical student.

Marika is taking a break from her care-taking duties tonight to go up to Santa Barbara for the evening and hang out with her many school friends who have spent the summer there. She returns to Michigan on Sunday night and we expect her to sleep all day Monday.

(Another "patient" is my own mom -- who lives in Kentucky -- and who fell a week and a half ago while out for her 78th birthday dinner and fractured her pelvis. She is in a rehab center for another 3 weeks while it heals and she gets physical therapy. Normally I would have gone down to stay with her and care for her, but I obviously could not leave Gil so have depended on "the kindness of family and friends" back there to provide for her.)

Gil got up early again this morning and wrote an email about his recovery thus far. He sent it out to his research and medical group email lists. He immediately got back over 20 responses from you which he really appreciated.

Later in the morning, Gil and I had breakfast at our local favorite restaurant and all the waitresses came over to our table to welcome him back home. The short-order cook also gave him a thumbs-up and loaded Gil's "special" omelet with all the finest and healthiest ingredients.

We went to Ann Arbor for the afternoon to get his wetsuit-like shirt for swimming laps in cooler water and that was enough in one day to do us both in!

Can't wait until tomorrow (Saturday) which is the traditional Jewish day of rest -- because we need a day of rest!

It's 9 o'clock pm and we're headed to bed.


Muscles put to work
Remembering their function.
Exhausted by nine.

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